Polling suggests that socialist governments in Spain and Portugal have seen their electoral influence surge.
Spain’s Socialist party extended its lead in two opinion polls published on Monday, amid a failure to negotiate a coalition government since April. The government has now three weeks to break the four-month deadlock or go to the polls by November 10.
The Spanish Socialists have extended their lead, ahead of a poll on October 6, polling between 31,3% (SocioMetrica) and 33,4-(Sigma Dos, Aug 27-29), gaining three to five points in comparison to April’s electoral result. This means PSOE can potentially form a government with the left Unidos Podemos, without the support of Catalan secessionist parties, resolving a major political deadlock in Spanish politics.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez would like to lead a minority government with parliamentary support from Unidos Podemos; the leader of Podemos, Pablo Inglesias, wants to join the government. Their cooperation has thus far yielded a number of popular policies but cooperation within a single cabinet remains a taboo.
The Portuguese Socialists have also seen the electoral influence surge to 43,6% (Pitagorica Aug. 12-24). That means they could either form a single-party government or renew their partnership with the Left Bloc, without the need to include the Communist Party. Theoretically, the threshold for a parliamentary majority in Portugal is a 42% share of the vote.
A Socialist government has become less common in Europe, despite a strong performance in Malta and a comeback for the political movement in Finland and Denmark. But in Spain and Portugal, their political fortunes are changing as incumbent governments have achieved a balance between fiscal discipline and a commitment to alleviating some of the effects of a prolonged period of austerity politics.